PayPal was the hot new thing in payments when it launched in 1998, but in the era of digital currency, crowdfunding, micro-crowdfunding, and peer-to-peer lending, most people no longer see the company that way. So its newest board appointment is an effort to embrace the new landscape in digital payments.
To that end, PayPal (PYPL) has named Wences Casares to its board of directors, the company announced on Wednesday. Casares is founder and CEO of Xapo, a wallet provider for the digital currency bitcoin, and before Xapo he founded Lemon, another digital wallet company. He is an unusual addition to a board that includes executives from ATT (T), the American Red Cross, Enzon Pharmaceuticals (ENZN), and eBay (EBAY) cofounder Pierre Omidyar.
It’s likely a sign that PayPal is ready to embrace bitcoin and its technology. That’s especially interesting considering that it is a company some bitcoin entrepreneurs often point to as “Web 1.0” and too slow because of its transfer delays and fees. One of the biggest selling points of bitcoin is the ability to send money to another country with little or no